Tag Archives: Family

Why I Blog…A Gentle Reminder

I started blogging to help others, and myself become stronger.  The last several months, I did not have it in me to carry myself, much less have any bright days to share and lift others.  My internal protector, who now goes by Gidget, not “the mean one”, isn’t mean at all.  She does have a temper.  She can swear like a sailor when she gets angry, but her goal has been to protect me and “squirt” and to make me have a little more fun in life.

What now seems eons ago, but was only weeks ago, she told me angrily, “Not everyone deserves to be forgiven.”  That statement lead to pandora’s box being opened, and discovering and recalling that my “original” abuser, was a pawn and victim himself in his father and step-mother’s sadistic game.  Who knows how long it went on with him, but Little Shanna endured about a year and a half of sexual abuse.  Holding tightly to the secret, the sadness, and the guilt, standing beside her, a valiant protector Gidget.

She is remembering that she did fight now, she let me know, I fought and begged to go home.  There is only so much a 4 and 5 year old child can do.  Especially when you have two adults there, who are holding you.  Holding you in a way that you do not bruise though.  Hugging you.  Adults you once trusted.  Adults you should still be able to trust.  Hearing my dog barking outside because she heard my cries.  Gidget, that is where she got her name from.  My faithful protector back then.

She has introduced herself to most of my family and friends.  I am not really comfortable with that, but I suppose she is making it so that I do not have to worry about it.  Fear of rejection is so high.  She gave my closest friends what for the other day, for absolutely no reason.  Of course I had to apologize profusely after I returned.  She seems to forget my life, our life, is not all that everyone has to deal with.

She and I have become almost like sisters.  Boy howdy can she get mad at me.  If I try to smooth something over when it is clearly not my fault, or heaven forbid I blame her for something that happens, and I do not know if she had anything to do with it or not.  My husband says I need to learn to chose my words more carefully.  I told him, I am not used to someone knowing my intimate thoughts, and responding to them.  This is a new ball game for me.

She has quite the sense of humor.  I hope she does not mind me sharing this.  First off, she is country.  Very country.  Several people have mentioned that she has a serious twang to her voice.  After therapy yesterday, I told my parents that I wanted to try to actually eat out at my favorite place.  Ole Times Country Buffet. I set up ground rules.  My back would be to the wall, and I would be able to see my parents at all times, even at the buffet.  I was getting a little nervous.  Mother said Gidget came out and said, “I ain’t gonna let her eat all this good food by herself.”  Mother laughed as she said some of the things Gidget said and did.  First apparently she ate so fast, afraid I would come out soon.  Mother asked her if I had put any fried squash on the plate.  I had not, only because I did not have room.  Gidget sad SHE does not like that stuff. She joked, “When she comes back she ain’t gonna know where her food went.”  Gidget, must be a messy eater because my napkin was all nasty when I returned, and she was right.  I had Mac’N’Cheese (because” it did not taste like Ms. Edith’s (my grandmother) or hers (Mothers)”, according to Gidget, I agree.), and a piece of dry chicken.  Thing is my mouth was still hungry, though my belly bloated.  I dared her in my mind to come out when I got my deserts.  I got two just in case, I hid them behind butter beans and collards.

If you are new to this life.  My advice is, take it slow, but try to become friends.  I find when I am scared or afraid when they come out, it wipes me out physically.  If I let them come have their peace, and not fight them, I am not nearly as exhausted when I return.  I  do not understand it, but that is how my body and mind works.  My doctor seemed to recognize the exhaustion, so I must not be too crazy.  Yeah, not too crazy, says the woman with two altar personalities.

I am not going to write as often as I did before, but I will check in every once and a while.  A pulse check  to let you know that I am still alive and kicking.

Thank you so much for reading.  Thank you Mental Health Bloggers for the gentle reminder as to why I began blogging.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Hope, Gidget, Little Shanna

 

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Mother, Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days

The Judds song Grandpa. How I love the lyrics.

Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days
Sometimes it feels like this worlds gone crazy
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday
When the line between right and wrong
Didn’t seem so hazy.

I could not help but think of the lyrics as I Mother drove me around the neighborhoods of her youth. I mentioned to her remembering only one thing about my Grandmommy’s home, the brick wall around the carport. It had perfect squares that reminded me of the squares from the Price Is Right game where you put the dice in with the correct numbers to win the car.  Funny how we associate things. Associating probably helped me remember it.

When we arrived at the end of the street where the house stood, Mother commented that she had not seen it driving by. She then told me the number we were looking for. Before this point I looked for the familiar brick work. We turned the car around, as the numbers on the homes descended, getting closer to the house number we looked for, a childlike eagerness rose.  Almost holding my breath as I recorded with my Iphone. Then we arrived.

Our hearts sank. An empty lot where the home once stood. The home where I ate many hard Christmas candies. You know the kind only grandparents bought back in the day.  It was not really that it tasted that great, but it was a special treat for being at Grandmommy’s–those candies.
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The house where I would see placed carefully on her dresser, the hairnets. Meticulously made with strands of her own hair. My heart was sad. More sad for my Mother than myself, she had many more memories than I in the home. Grandmommy passed away a few weeks before my fifth birthday.

We went by the family burial plot. I do not know that I have been there since I was a child. It’s very humbling to stand at the feet of these amazing people. I have read and researched so much in family history. I love my family. As I stood at Papa’s feet, I thought about his life. His Daddy had mental health problems, and back in his day they did not have the help we do now. He died in an institution.  As sad as that is, it also connects me to him. An empathy that I have not felt before as I thought about him.  Three of my Grandmother’s sisters were buried there with their parents, I only knew one of them.  The others passed away before my birth.

I wore a short-sleeved shirt today not realizing the temperature would drop steadily. When I looked down at my goose bump filled arms, I saw something else that I inherited from this side of my family. Freckles. Those freckles that I cursed as I teen, I learned to accept and see at a link to my irish heritage as an adult. Both Papa and Grandmommy’s family heritage gift to me.

All in all it the day brought smiles with only a few tears. I am so grateful for the smiles. I am grateful for the memories Mother shared, and the new memories we created together. My heart needed it. I felt like me.

My doctors appointments went well also. My doctor added Abilify to my medicines hoping to amp up my other meds enough that I will not have the panic attacks. Keeping my fingers crossed. Since there is not a medication specifically for dissociative disorders you must treat the symptoms and the anxiety and depression, and work on integration.

One of the things that makes me sad when I think about it, is after having such a peaceful, pure, and innocent experience with Little Shanna the other day.  Developing a relationship with her.  I do not want her or me to think of integration as me getting rid of her or killing her. I keep trying to tell myself that it is like me hugging her really really tight, so tight that she becomes a part of me.  I hope she feels that way.
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Heartbreak Sweethearts

Heartbreak Sweethearts.Many many years ago in a small town not too far away lived three best friends. No not Larry, Moe, and Curly, but Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dumb, and Tweedle-Stupid. The three loudest and craziest NKOTB, also known as New Kids on the Block, fans that you could ever hope to find.

We most literally joined ourselves at the hips most weekends. Walking arms linked, crossing leg over leg over leg, singing, “Hey, Hey we’re the Monkeys.” Or bouncing and bebopping around singing NKOTB songs. Wandering stores walking up to strangers asking, “Where’s Bubba? Have you seen Bubba?” Trying to keep a straight face as we talked in the silly voices and gave a description of our missing imaginary “Bubba”.

We shared the off-key dream of becoming the next girl band, of course to tour with our successful and dreamy husbands, Donnie, Danny, and Jordan, or which three we chose that week. Sometimes going a month or two without changing our favorite, then we knew it was true undying love.

Our group name The Heartbreak Sweethearts. We spent hours practicing into microphones AKA hair brushes in my room or the room of one of my “band mates.” We still have the VHS and cassette recordings to prove it. I would say it is blackmail, but I think we all three love the memories and the laughter incited by it, that I could never be blackmail.

It was such a fun time.

Once we even attempted a rap song. Calling ourselves, get this…DaMob.. So the rap went. (I’ll try to type it out how we sang it beat wise.)

Yo we DaMob
We got somethin’
To Say

We gonna
Teach you
How to par~ty
In a brand new way

You think alcohol and drugs
Are the way to go
Well life is much easier
If you
JUST — SAY — NO!!!!

It was so funny, but it was also something we lived by. We had good clean and crazy fun. We were cool like that.

So the Daily Post Challenge is to take you to where I spent my sixteenth birthday? To come along you must wear stone washed jeans, yeah the kind that when you bought them you found the tiny sand and stones in the pockets. Now do not forget to roll-cuff your jeans tightly at the ankles. Also do not forget your white Keds and white socks. Just incase you are confused you can refer to the picture album cover above. This was taken the night of our party. Our faces have been blurred to protect us from the embarrassment of such fashion taboos.

Don’t worry it’s not requisite to wear NKOTB attire. We did and man were we proud. My sister made these shirts for us. I still have mine somewhere. She put our NKOTB nickname on the pocket. Mine was Cheese. (Which happened to be Donnie’s also. I always seemed to make my way back to Donnie. The bad boy.)

The music for the evening. You guessed it. We played so much New Kids, but we did share the night we a couple of other friends, male friends, so other music was mixed in to give some variety.

My Daddy brought and requested a specific song to dance with me, I am so bummed that none of us can remember the name of it. I called and asked my parents. I remember dancing and laughing with Daddy. He thought he was embarrassing me, but I thought it was great. I thought I would never forget the name of the song. I hope one day I will hear and remember it.

I hope that I have it in one of my journals. I do not think I wrote in my journal that night or the day after because I went to stay with Bec. Yeah, that joined at the hip thing. We often teased each other, “Okay, who’s turn is it to have the brain?”

Many memorable and amazing things happened that night or can be linked there. Sharing a dance with my Daddy at my 16th birthday, having both of my parents there, so very special.

Though dreams of singing stardom are long gone, the Heartbreak Sweethearts are still best friends after all these years, even adding a fourth to our group. Man is now married to the fella Bec was dating at our 16th, and they have two amazing and brilliant children. Bec is engaged to one of the guys that we shared our night with, one of our male best friends.

Wonderful things do happen on your sixteenth. Sometimes it might take years to see the fruits, but when it does it is magical.

Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh..Hangin’ Tough! Thanks for coming with on my trip down memory lane. ~Hope

Daily Post Prompt: Sixteen

Happiness Is…

Give yourself up to this moment. Dare to see it. Now look down at your feet; slip out of those invisible tethers. Then ask: Where would you take yourself right this moment if you walked toward your most heartfelt dream? What would your life look like? What would your body look and feel like? What level of energy would you have? What might be your favorite activity? What would your daily life include? Imagine happiness — the sweet glow of inner contentment, the way it tastes and smells and feels. ~Chris Downie

Happiness danced in my thoughts today. My oldest step-daughter married her sweetheart yesterday in a somewhat secret ceremony, I believe just a few of his family attended. They posted the video on Facebook to share the exciting news.

I sent her a text today to ask her if I could put it on my wall that “my daughter married her sweetheart. I specifically asked about dropping the step that has stared me in the face since I became part of the family nine years ago. I hate that word. When she said I could. I cannot express the joy that brings to my heart.

Though she is an adult and has a “step” of her own now, part of her is still that young girl I met when I married her Dad. I fell in love with her and her sister. I made it clear my intentions were to never ever take the place of their mom who is still living, but that does not diminish the depth of the love that I feel for them. Through the years I developed a mother’s love for them. I ached when they hurt. I worried when they were sick. Frustrated when I saw them making choices that I knew would lead them into pain. I felt hurt when they were away and we did not get to spend the time we could with them. Distance and circumstances sometimes coming between our developing relationships. Each time though, my mother heart, would ache to know how my daughters were and we would find our way back to each other.

So having my daughter allow me to call her what my heart has called her all along is happiness to me. Knowing that she has found the man who will walk the road beside her being her constant and her strength makes this mom very happy.

Family means the world to me. I do not know where I would be without my family. I am so very grateful for the gift that my daughter gave me today to let me call her mine, and yesterday for increasing our family by two.

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Daily Prompt: My Four Legged Hero

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Meet Gidget.  I was just a tiny girl, and she a tiny pup when I she became part of our family. Hitting it off immediately, this little gal became my shadow.

Gidget was my best pal. To be such a small dog she was the absolute best a watch dog and protector. Often going nose to nose with large neighborhood bulldogs and shepherds that would come into our yard. She would send them running as she nipped on their heels with them running tails tucked as they left. I am sure they were getting an earful with her barking in the chase.  Once a Doberman jumped over the neighbors fence and came running after us.  Granny told us to run to the climbing tree.  Granny and Gidget stood ground, giving us time to climb the tree.  I do not remember the dog going home or what.  I just know we did not get eaten, neither did Granny or Gidget.

As fierce as she was protecting her us, she was that much more gentle towards us. I was fascinated with her swollen boobies after she had puppies. So one day I rolled her over and squeezed one of her boobies and looked in awe as milk came out. She just laid there. She would let me do anything to her.  Poor girl.

Gidget was so funny. I think she thought she was a human.  She loved our birthday parties. Whatever we did, she found herself in the middle of it. If we were chewing gum, Gidget was chewing gum. She however, loved to pull and stretch the gum with her paws and make a mess. One party favor that she really enjoyed was the parachute men. They were in cylinder tubes. You blow the tubes and the parachute man comes out and floats down. She had a tube in her mouth and tried to throw her head back, mimicking us. She was never able to get her parachute to fly. 🙂 But it was not from lack of trying.

I remember well the dark feeling that fell over my heart the day Gidget went missing. She had a litter of puppies under the house that needed feeding.  She never stayed away from her babies long, so we knew something was bad wrong for her to stay away.

We looked everywhere, and eventually found her at my neighbors. The night before their someone had broken into their home.  Gidget, we suppose, tried to protect our friends home, and was ran over. My heart was broken.

I miss that sweet girl, a hero of my youth.

Daily Prompt: Heroic

Didn’t Mean To Broadcast To The World

After publishing my last post I went to my Facebook account, imagine my horror when I realized that I have been publicizing THIS blog to everyone. I had set my blog to be published to my other Facebook account, my Hope account, but somehow it switched when I was inactive. It made me ill. There are several people on my list that I would never want to know or read about my experiences.

I have gone and deleted the posts from my Facebook account and deleted my Facebook account from my WordPress account as to avoid any future issues.

I hope no innocent eyes read my blog and were injured by anything I said. I worry so much about my niece and young cousins reading it.

No need to worry I have done what I can.

Good Day, Even With Migraine

I am very thankful for good days. I talked to one of my cousins that I was roommates with many years ago. We enjoyed many good times together, and learned so much about ourselves during that time. It was nice to talk to her. Though she is my first cousin, she lives across country and we hardly take the time to talk like we once did. I miss her dearly, but when we talk, it is as if we are still roommates.

Though my head was splitting with a migraine today, I kept the same hope inside from my doctor’s appointment that I will be whole one day. I know that I will not feel this way every day, so days that I can remember this, I cannot express fully how grateful I am.

Tonight I am typing on my hand me down MacBook. I love it. It is so much easier to type up a quick post than on my Ipad. I love my Ipad too, do not get me wrong, love all my Apple products.

The weather was somewhat warmer today. I think it was in the mid-forties. Even at that, it was nice to snuggle up with the Mister tonight and have a silent mind. I was so nervous that she would start yelling and ruin a tender moment that we needed. How I missed my husband’s arms and gentle strength. A side only I know.

This evening we talked about how we seize these moments because we never know when I will be afraid and hold him at arm’s length or farther. I am so grateful for his patience and understanding.

I had no idea it was this late. I suppose I should go to sleep.

Nite all. Sweet dreams.

Sasquatch, Two Counties Away, Great!

So as I read the local new bulletins this morning I could not help but chuckle. I am very glad that I am not afraid of big hairy ape-like creatures wandering the woods. Yeah, just a few miles up the road, two counties over, the police received two separate 911 calls reporting Sasquatch sightings. It was extremely windy last night and every time I let my dogs out they barked at the wind and the shadows caused by the movements of the trees. Or….Has Sasquatch made it to Georgia?

Last night my dreams were filled with anxiety and frustration. I attempted going shopping, my husband pushing me around in a wheelchair. There were so many people in the store. I kept trying to find my family, but everything was different. I would see them at the end of aisles, but with so many people between us, Tracy could not navigate me to them. I started panicking. Similar to how Bill Bixby would not want the Hulk to come, I was fighting Little Hope. Yelling for Tracy to get me out of the store. We kept hitting dead ends, since the store been rearranged. I jumped and started to run. This woke me up, finding myself with my arms forward, and my legs bent to run.

I used to love to dream. Seeing and spending time with those that have passed. Having adventures in a world of my creating. Now sleep is fitful. Lately my dreams are dark and scary. Last week it was as if I was sitting in a 5D theatre all night, reliving again and again that awful day. Each of my senses involved in the nightmare. I asked my husband the next morning if I moved much the night before, and he said yes, I kept him and the dogs awake all night. I begged him to please wake me if I ever do that again.

Today, this moment, is okay. I am at my parents. Daddy sits in his chair, dozing, waking to change the channel occasionally. Mother in hers, on her Ipad, holding Lillie and Heidi their Chihuahuas. Being with them brings me some comfort, though my insides still shake. I love my family.

I did not take anything out for supper. My husband is used to that. He gets maybe one or two descent meals a week. Tonight we might have stuffed bake potatoes. Quick and easy.

One day.

Hello 2014, What Do You Hold In Your View?

I’m here. Yeah, still alive and breathing which is a plus. The last few months have been tricky and remain so. I had surgery in November on my neck for a herniated disk. My back is still giving me a fit and finding a comfortable position to sleep almost impossible.

Little Hope continues to cause to make my life a mess. I refuse to acknowledge her as part of me. My life has become that of a recluse because of the prison which she holds me in. Fearing constantly that she will take over. She ruined my family Christmas for me. Showing herself to my extended family. I hate her. I wish she would go away. You hear the cliché in movies that there is only room for one of us in this town, well that is how I feel about my body and mind.

As I write the tension and the anxiety wells up inside. I have been anxious for several days, fearing that something is going to happen to someone I love. Not that anxiety is new. This is just constant. I hear a siren, I turn on the scanner, or call my loved ones. Irrational I know, but I cannot shake the feeling. At night I wake up to feel my husband breathing, to feel his warm skin. When my Mother and I return from a doctor, I scan the sky for smoke to make sure our homes have not caught on fire while we are gone. When we pull in, I scan the yard to make sure my Daddy has not fallen. I am in a constant state of worry. As they read this, it will be the first time my family hears some of it. I am ashamed of it, but it is my life, if that is what it can be called.

I determined myself to start writing again, not allow the little bully within to stop me. I apologize for the negative post, I am trying to get the emotions out. Trying to be real.

What does 2014 hold? A lot more therapy. I hope I can learn to control the monster within. I am sorry such horrible things happened to her, they happened to me too, but she needs to let me be the adult and live. I try to explain to her that she is safe, and that she will be happy if she lets me live. She does not trust me. She often screams loudly in my mind. “If you are sad you must die.” or “That’s not fair. That’s not fair to me.” She does not want me to be sad, or to be too happy. So I live in limbo. Reclusive.

I communicate with friends and family via Facebook and texting. My immediate family I talk to on the phone or at my parents home. I cannot even attend Church right now because of panic attacks being around people. I miss going to Church. I miss spending time out. I miss me.

I do have hope for 2014. Hope that I can press forward and get to know the new me, and feel comfortable in my own skin. Hope that I will walk back into Church without a panic attack. Hope that will be able to date my husband again, I miss our dates. Hope of shopping trips with my Mother. Yes, others have resolutions of weight-loss and exercise. It goes without saying that I need to have those things on my list, but that will come.

Looking for Courage and Motivation

As I have mentioned before, I have this battle within myself. Little Hope is trying to keep me to herself, and I, in fear of upsetting her, spend most of my time alone. This weekend my siblings and extended family came in. Though anxious initially at the thought of being around everyone and a few times during the party, I was able to enjoy some time with family. I cannot express how grateful I am for that.

I am trying to find the courage within to do those things that will help me and motivate me to be stronger.

Blogging again is one of those baby steps. I enjoy writing. Words delight me. They are my friends. They can be my weapon, my sauve, my mask, the real me. Words can be what I need them to be. I love words.

The other is my photography. I took up the hobby of photography not too long ago as part of my healing journey. I receive joy in the moments in time that can be captured in a photo. The last several weeks out of fear of upsetting Little Hope, I placed my camera aside. I decided that I would pick my camera back up and find treasures that are placed for me to discover that will give me moments joy.

It may sound simple. Writing and photography, two creative fun things. I do not want to negate the beauty and peace that I will get in the long run, but right now I still have the anxiety because of that battle. I pray that the tenacity that I have always had will kick in and I will stick to these two goals.

Saturday I took this picture of Tender Mercy. She is a sweet angel doe that comes on days that we are having a difficult time. Saturday was the day of the party, I was very anxious. My nephew came in and said, “There is a deer out here.” I knew exactly why she had been sent.

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